Dir. Garry Marshall. USA. 2010.

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A film with so many stars in it is going to be under a lot of pressure to be brilliant. But to enjoy Valentine's Day you have to really let go of any opinions you may have garnered before you see the film (especially that it is a 'poor man's Love Actually') and just watch it.
There are lots of different storylines, because this is a film that needs to cater to a large audience. There is Jessica Biel, disappointed that no-one’s going to be at her annual 'I Hate Valentine's Day' party, but is soon comforted by disillusioned sports-caster Jamie Foxx. Ashton Kutcher, who has just been dumped by his long-term girl-friend and short-term fiancée (Jessica Alba), and then agonises over how to tell his best friend, teacher (Jennifer Garner), that her boyfriend (Patrick Dempsey) is cheating on her. However she does have another admirer, in the rather smaller shape of one of her students (Bryce Robinson), whose grandparents (Shirley Maclaine and Hector Elizondo) have just encountered their first real romantic hurdle in over 50 years. Then there are two high-schoolers in 'Love' (Taylors Lautner and Swift) and another two who want to make Valentine's Day their 'first time' (Emma Roberts and Carter Jenkins). There is a new couple who learn an important lesson (Topher Grace and Anne Hathaway). Two strangers who meet on an airplane and discuss their loves on the ground (Julia Roberts and Bradley Cooper). Pheww. I've probably missed someone out, but that's at least most of them.

Different actors will appeal to different viewers, but personally I found Ashton Kutcher adorable and very touching in his role as the confused florist. Shirley Maclaine and Hector Elizondo were brilliant. The most refreshing pair was Anne Hathaway and Topher Grace, and Hathaway's section of being an 'Adult Phone Entertainer'. The Taylors added a nice element of tongue in cheek, but I’m glad there wasn’t more of them because annoying doesn't do them justice (in this role at least). 10-year old Bryce Robinson outshines everyone though, with his sheer cuteness and tenacity to tell his teacher how he loves her when the whole world seems against him.

This isn't a film to come along to being a sceptic, or to be set on comparing to 'Love Actually' or ' He's Just Not That Into You'. You just have to let it sweep you up and convince you its ok to be single on Valentine's Day, as long as you have a good rom-com, friends, and popcorn!

Chloe Walker

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